Founded in 1614, the University of Groningen enjoys an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative institution of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Flexible study programmes and academic career opportunities in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the 35,000 students and researchers alike to develop their own individual talents. As one of the best research universities in Europe, the University of Groningen has joined forces with other top universities and networks worldwide to become a truly global centre of knowledge.
Within the Faculty of Science and Engineering, a 4-years PhD position is available at the Bernoulli Institute for Mathematics, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence with the topic of foundations of knowledge and opinion formation in social networks. The candidate would become a member of the Autonomous Perceptive Systems Group of the Artificial Intelligence Department and will work under the supervision of Dr Hamidreza Kasaei.
I am looking for a motivated PhD student to work on “lifelong learning for dual-arm manipulation tasks”. This PhD project focuses on learning dual-arm manipulation skills for service robots to assist humans in various household/industrial tasks. For example, consider a dish-washing task, where one arm is used to position the dish and the other arm cleans the dish, or dynamically lifting large heavy objects, or even manipulation of a tray containing several objects. Towards this goal, tight coupling between perception and manipulation should be granted. In particular, the robot should perceive the environment to see which objects exist in the scene, where they are, and how to manipulate the target object. Then, its two arms have to work very closely together to accomplish the given task perfectly.
In this project, apart from robot self-learning, non-expert users could interactively guide the process of experience acquisition by teaching new tasks/objects, or by correcting insufficient or erroneous behaviours. In this way, the robot will constantly learn how to help humans in everyday tasks by gaining more and more experiences without the need for re-programming. By using a dual-arm setup, we will demonstrate how a robot can constantly improve its understanding of the world; and how such understandings allow the robot to better cope with new situations.
The objective of the temporary position is the production of a number of research articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals and conference proceedings, which together will form the basis of a thesis leading to a PhD degree (Dr) at the University of Groningen.
We encourage you to apply in particular if you have:
• an MSc degree in Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science, or a related field
• strong background in robotics, deep learning, and computer vision
• solid programming skills in Python and C++
• ability to take initiative
• affinity with supervising master and bachelor students
• proficiency in verbal and written English.
And you are motivated and enthusiastic to work in an international research group. Candidates with a good track record in robotic grasping and manipulation, human-robot interaction, robot (motor) learning, and robot perception are especially encouraged to apply.
We offer you, following the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:
• a salary of € 2,395 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 3,061 gross per month in the fourth and final year for a full-time working week
• a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income and an 8.3% year-end bonus
• a full-time position (1.0 FTE).
The successful candidate will first be offered a temporary position of one year with the option of renewal for another three years. Prolongation of the contract is contingent on sufficient progress in the first year to indicate that a successful completion of the PhD thesis within the next three years is to be expected. A PhD training programme is part of the agreement and the successful candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School of Science and Engineering.
The position is funded for four years. The intended starting date is 1 November 2021, but different starting dates can be considered.
Are you interested in this PhD position? You can apply until 31 May 11:59 pm / before 1 June 2021 via the application button and upload the following documents as a single PDF file:
• a letter of motivation explaining why you are the right candidate for this project, and a brief description of how you plan to contribute to this project (max 1 page)
• a detailed Curriculum Vitae, including a list of academic publications (if any), a list of projects you have worked on with brief descriptions of your contributions, and a list with names of references (max 3 pages)
• a complete record of Bachelor and Master courses (including grades).
We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our University. We are committed to building a diverse faculty so you are encouraged to apply. Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP), http://nvp-plaza.nl/download/?id=7714 and European Commission’s European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers, https://euraxess.ec.europa.eu/jobs/charter/code
Voor informatie kunt u contact opnemen met:
Dr Hamidreza Kasaei, Assistant Professor, email@example.com